The Chinese state publication Global Times praised White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly in an article dated Saturday for stating in an interview that the repressive communist system “has apparently worked for the Chinese people.”
The article urges those who decry China for its rampant human rights abuses, violations of international law, and consistent belligerence against its neighbors to abandon a “Cold War mentality” against Beijing. The article’s title flatly urges that the “U.S. should erase the Cold War mentality with China.”
“Kelly’s comments that China is not an enemy of the U.S. and that China has ‘a system of government that has apparently worked for the Chinese people’ are true,” the Times asserts. “With interactions between China and the U.S., including those that involve bilateral trade, so huge, how could they be enemies? China can by no means be defined as a U.S. ‘enemy.'”
“China’s system of government fits the country,” the article asserts. “China’s economy has grown so fast and the national strength and people’s livelihood have improved spectacularly. How could China’s system not be fit for the country?”
It goes on to condemn “some radicals” who “get emotional and believe that China is an external source of problems” for their “prejudice against China’s political system.”
It concludes with an attack on Fox News host Laura Ingraham, who led the interview in which Kelly made his remarks, for asserting that China serially violates the human rights of its Christian population. Beijing tightly regulates Christian worship through state-sponsored churches and imprisons and beats Christians who defy the government with underground worship.
Ingraham, the Global Times posited, was “clearly influenced by theories and rumors about the underground churches in China. She should come to China to see with her own eyes that most Christians in China, like many other Chinese, recognize China’s political system and more importantly benefit from it.”
In his interview with Ingraham this week, Kelly stated that China had “beat us pretty badly in terms of trade” but that this fact “doesn’t make them an enemy” and instead should encourage American industry to compete at a higher level. “My hats off to them for taking advantage of whatever they’ve been able to take advantage of to have that trade relationship.”
He went on to say that he believed in cooperation with China, despite the moral shortcomings of working with such a regime, and that “they have a system of government that has apparently worked for the Chinese people.”
Last week, President Donald Trump made similarly complimentary remarks towards China, and in particular increasingly autocratic leader Xi Jinping. Trump even joked about Xi’s elevation to Mao Zedong status within the Chinese Communist Party at its congress last month, telling reporters, “Now some people might call him the king of China. But he’s called president. But we have a very good relationship and that’s a positive thing.”
Trump stated on Twitter that he had called Xi to congratulate him on having his name enshrined in the Communist Party constitution, calling it an “extraordinary elevation.”
Kelly’s remarks that China is not an enemy, and Trump’s effusive praise of Xi, stand in stark contrast with Trump’s attitude towards the communist power on the campaign trail in 2016.
“I don’t want to sit back and watch our country get taken to the cleaners every single year by China,” Trump said in a January 2016 speech. “And it’s largely because of currency manipulation. I’ll do fine with China—we’ll do much better with China than we do now, and China like us much better than they do now.”
“We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country, and that’s what they’re doing,” Trump said at a campaign stop in May, referring to China’s trade relationship with America. “It’s the greatest theft in the history of the world.”
By April 2017, Trump told reporters he did not believe China was a “currency manipulator” and would not seek to designate the nation that status. The U.S. State Department under Trump, however, has condemned China’s woeful human rights record in a report released in June.
President Trump is expected to meet with Xi and other high-ranking Chinese leaders in Beijing on November 8-10. China’s state-run Xinhua news service quotes Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang as vowing that the visit will be a “historic success.”
“Apart from the red-carpet ceremony, formal talks and banquet, the two presidents will have informal arrangements,” Zheng told reporters.